Reasons to Support City Rail Plan: 1) Let’s Get Moving 2) It’s Time 3) This Is a Legitimate Plan

My recent article on L.A.’s transit spending plan got reprinted in the L.A. Business Journal and now draws a response from one Michael Kelly of something called the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs

I can’t call Kelly's piece a rebuttal because Kelly declines to address anything I wrote. For example, he refers without specifics to funding that will come from local Measure R and from the Department of Transportation’s TIFIA lending program – as if this is new information – even though in my article I went into some detail about these two funding sources, and I even looked stuff up and called people to find out whether the money coming from these sources would come close to covering projected costs. (It doesn’t.) 

But that’s fair enough. This is a Blowback-type column, where you really just use the original article as a hook to recite your talking points. The LABJ requires a subscription to read the article, so to give you a sense of Kelly’s argument, here are the topic sentences for every paragraph, in random order: 

Whether you drive, bike, bus or ride the train from one location to the next, the sorry state of our transportation infrastructure affects you. Right now, one-third of our country’s major roads are in poor condition and nearly 14 million Americans are jobless. The America Fast Forward plan (formerly 30/10) to speed up transportation funding is a legitimate solution to improve L.A.’s roads and railways, and revitalize our economy.

The op-ed by Tim Cavanaugh in the June 13 issue of the Business Journal ("Villaraigosa's 30/10 – Show me the Money”) was dead wrong. We are not asking for a government handout. The fact is that this plan makes so much sense that unlikely allies have joined forces. This is a plan that recognizes our tax dollars are best spent in and by our own communities. 

America Fast Forward utilizes a number of innovative financing tools that do not add to our nation’s debt problems. Democratic and Republican Senate leaders are already offering solutions to reauthorize our federal transportation financing tools while empowering cities to strategically leverage local funds with federal dollars to create jobs now. Expanding the act would enable America Fast Forward to become a reality for more than a million Americans who are ready to get back to work, building a 21st century transportation infrastructure on a faster time line. 

America Fast Forward is a collaboration that promises to generate more than 1 million jobs and build our country’s infrastructure faster and more efficiently, putting people back to work now. Some may argue that this is just another politically motivated, misguided plan that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy. 

Well, that’s totally persuasive. But Kelly left out his best point: “Monorail!” 

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  • Ska||

    Is there a chance the track could bend?

  • joeyjojojrshabadoo||

    Not on your life, my Hindu friend

    What about us brain-dead slobs?

  • fish||

    What about us brain-dead slobs?

    You'll be given cushy jobs!~

  • ||

    Were you sent here by the devil?

  • fish||

    ...no good sir I'm on the level.

  • Mob||

    MONORAIL!

  • Mob||

    MONORAIL!

  • some guy||

    I love this forum.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Damn. I was hoping that after the long quote, you'd reveal that those were the actual paragraphs, in the correct order.

  • PALEACRITA||

    WHAT'S WRONG WITH NATIONS?

    THAT'S A WEIRD WAY OF ASKING A SIMPLE QUESTION.

    STOP.

    NOW GO FORTH.

    BEGIN THE MARKET RESPONSE TO NATURE.

    STOP.

    NOW GO FORTH.

    WAIT.

    STOP.

    NO GO FORTH.

    THIS ISN'T THE BEGINNING.

    THIS ISN'T EVEN THE END.

    THIS ISN'T THE MIDDLE OR THE AREA IN THE CORNER.

    IT'S A MATTER OF SURVIVAL.

    ACID WASH.

    DATA, PICKING NOSE, PICKING LICE, PICKING SONGS.

    GO.

    NOW STOP.

  • Tim||

    Instructions for fornication?

  • ||

    Instructions for Californication.

  • ||

    go forward
    move ahead
    try to detect it
    it's not too late
    to whip it
    whip it good

  • Kristen||

    Herc?

  • Matt Felch||

    That's what I thought at first glance, too...

  • fish||

    Maybe a relative?

  • ||

    This guy is the Stone Temple Pilots to Herc's Pearl Jam. No, that's not really fair. He's the Bush to Herc's Stone Temple Pilots.

  • Question||

    Bush the group or Bush the Socialist Republican?

  • ||

    More like he's the ICP to Herc's Kiss. And I hate Kiss.

    Fucking analogies, how do they work?

  • Ska||

    My older brothers who grew up in the seventies were kind enough to leave a big KISS sticker in an old bedroom at my parents' house. Written across the sticker in white-out:

    KISS SUCKS MY ASS

    I'm not sure which one wrote it, but I value that lesson even today.

  • ||

    I thought someone was channeling MNG because this is ANTI-SEMITIC!!!!!!!

  • ||

    I had no older siblings to teach me this truth, Ska, but I learned it quickly enough.

  • Beatnik||

    *snap* *snap*

  • Allen Ginsberg||

    PANCREATIC, you're stealing my fans! Asshole.

  • ||

    I saw the worst trolls of my generation...

  • Ska||

    ...applied by magic marker to drywall.

    Oh, wrong derivative.

  • ||

    Actually, it was that song that introduced me to Howl. In my defense, I was 13 or 14 at the time.

  • Ska||

    Yeah, same here. I think it makes sense to have heard the TMBG lyrics before reading beat poetry...

  • Allen Ginsberg||

    dragging themselves through libertarian blogs at dawn looking for an angry fix,
    emptyheaded hipsters burning for the free internet connection to the Starbucks dynamo in the Cafe Latte of the night.

  • Constantine P. Cavafy (1904) ||

    Waiting for the Barbarians
    What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

    The barbarians are to arrive today.

    Why such inaction in the Senate?
    Why do the Senators sit and pass no laws?

    Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
    What laws can the Senators pass any more?
    When the barbarians come they will make the laws.

    Why did our emperor wake up so early,
    and sits at the greatest gate of the city,
    on the throne, solemn, wearing the crown?

    Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
    And the emperor waits to receive
    their chief. Indeed he has prepared
    to give him a scroll. Therein he inscribed
    many titles and names of honor.

    Why have our two consuls and the praetors come out
    today in their red, embroidered togas;
    why do they wear amethyst-studded bracelets,
    and rings with brilliant, glittering emeralds;
    why are they carrying costly canes today,
    wonderfully carved with silver and gold?

    Because the barbarians are to arrive today,
    and such things dazzle the barbarians.

    Why don't the worthy orators come as always
    to make their speeches, to have their say?

    Because the barbarians are to arrive today;
    and they get bored with eloquence and orations.

    Why all of a sudden this unrest
    and confusion. (How solemn the faces have become).
    Why are the streets and squares clearing quickly,
    and all return to their homes, so deep in thought?

    Because night is here but the barbarians have not come.
    And some people arrived from the borders,
    and said that there are no longer any barbarians.

    And now what shall become of us without any barbarians?
    Those people were some kind of solution.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Didn't reason just announce that they were hiring?

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    You know who else liked solutions?

  • Mr. Clean||

    Procter & Gamble?

  • ||

    Sherlock Holmes?

  • ||

    seven percent

  • fish||

    Students in Differential Equations courses?

  • Otto||

    Chemists?

  • skr||

    this was my favortie answer

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Hammer time.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Right now, one-third of our country’s major roads are in poor condition and nearly 14 million Americans are jobless.

    Is he suggesting that, instead of asphalt, we pave our crumbling roads with the unemployed? Didn't Romney do a commercial recently putting forward that same plan?

  • ||

    No, I think he's advocating slave labor.

  • fish||

    Is he suggesting that, instead of asphalt, we pave our crumbling roads with the unemployed?

    I would advise against this...they don't hold up well under chains and studded snow tires.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    Why would Romney propose that? He is one of the unemployed!

  • ||

    "But Main Street's still all cracked and broken."

    "Sorry, mom, the mob has spoken."

    One of the best eps ever. Leonard Nimoy AND Phil Hartman

  • Brian||

    It's like a mule with a spinning wheel.

  • ||

    Heh heh... mule...

  • Spartacus||

    TRAAIINNSS!!!

  • Tim||

    Cavanaugh calls the big one Bitey.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Batman's a scientist.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Modern trains have cup holders where passengers can store their beverages, or if you will...cupcake.

  • Brandon||

    Having nowhere else to put my beverage, I now support this plan wholeheartedly!

  • Tman||

    Some may argue that this is just another politically motivated, misguided plan that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy.

    Yes, some may. And the reason why is that we already know that this is just another politically motivated, misguided plan that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy. And why do we know that? Because this is exactly what the government -both the Federal and State in California- has been doing since we began this recession. The results have spoken for themselves, and those results confirm that we have already had enough politically motivated, misguided plans that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy, and we can't afford any more politically motivated, misguided plans that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy.

  • Tman||

    Also, this is just another politically motivated, misguided plans that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy.

  • nobody||

    So what you're saying is that this is just another politically motivated, misguided plan that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy?

  • ||

    Politically motivated, misguided plan that will simply spend more money rather than actually jumpstart our economy--

    How do it work?

  • Mainer||

    Let me be clear. There are those who say we must choose between politically motivated, misguided plans and simply spending more money.

  • Tman||

    +1 for the "Let me be Clear".

  • ||

    Want to jump start the economy? Pry off the parasite sucking at its neck.

  • Brandon||

    Weird mix of metaphors.

  • ||

    How about: "Want to embiggen the economy?"

  • alan||

    Never truly understood that complaint. Only makes sense on Urth-234, the one where Donne wasn't the greatest poet in the English language. Nope. Straight down the creeping heathers of singular meaning W Carlos W holds that title there. Not a place I want to live.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This is a plan that recognizes our tax dollars are best spent in and by our own communities.

    Could we continue this line of reasoning that the dollars could very best be spent by the individuals in each community? Before they are transformed into tax dollars? Or is this drilling down too deep?

  • ||

    Interesting. Couldn't taxpayers simply keep their money and spend it without the government collecting it first in the form of taxes?

    Nah, it's unpossible.

  • ||

    No. They'd just put it in a sock and not spend it or invest it.

    Only the government has the wisdom to spend our money to create jobs.

  • ||

    You're right, of course. I've been keeping all of my money in a tree. I haven't spend any money since aught one.

  • ||

    Found the tree.

    Chopped it down.

    Pissed the money away.

    Just like my ancestor Edmund would have done.

  • Paul||

    found, pinched and spent.

  • Joe M||

    This is a plan that recognizes our tax dollars are best spent in and by our own communities.

    Through community leaders, of course.

  • Jeffersonian||

    We could employ each and everyone of those 14 million by dynamiting the heavy equipment used by workers and giving them all shovels. Or even better, teaspoons. Just imagine the bounty that would flow from such an enlightened policy!

  • fish||

    We could employ each and everyone of those 14 million by dynamiting the heavy equipment used by workers and giving them all shovels.

    You have no idea just how vigorously Paul Krugman is masturbating over this statement.

  • sevo||

    Shovel, hell! Teaspoons!
    Let's 'put people to work'!

  • ||

    So, heavy equipment has caused problems similar to those caused by ATMs?

  • ||

    They can have my Cat D9T when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers...as well as from the 37 state bureaucrats ground into it's tracks.

  • Brandon||

    So killers, pryers, track cleaners, heavy equipment disposers...that's like 150 jobs right there!

  • rtc||

    137,528 jobs created or saved..if we're using Obama math.

  • ||

    The alarmists clamoring for more looting implicitly asseverate that the rent seekers who built the infrastructure did one shoddy job - which is what Mises and Hayek teach us.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Democratic and Republican Senate leaders are already offering solutions to reauthorize our federal transportation financing tools while empowering cities to strategically leverage local funds with federal dollars to create jobs now.

    Nonsense phrases straining the bullshit dam to its limit there.

  • ||

    That dam broke long, long ago.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The fact is that this plan makes so much sense that unlikely allies have joined forces.

    You know which other unlikely allies joined forces?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    That's right! Shelbyville and Capital City!

  • ||

    "Shake ya fist harder, boy! They're gettin' away!"

  • Michael||

    The America Fast Forward plan (formerly 30/10)...

    I suspect that America's Great Leap Forward and America's Final Solution were already taken.

  • Quetzalcoatl||

    They just wanted to name it after a remarkably popular and profitable television show that was in no way a money-hole.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    If you love America, you throw money in its hole.

  • Ska||

    What if I love gyrating stripper-whores?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Then pretty much the same thing.

  • Tim||

    O-T and Uh-oh:

    The Department of Homeland Security hasn't warned of a specific plot, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. But the specter of militants carrying bombs within them will prompt additional security measures at U.S. airports and overseas airports serving U.S. destinations, the Transportation Security Administration said in a written release.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....TopStories

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Passengers will now face a "slight abdominal incision" as part of airport security screening, TSAr announces.

  • Paul||

    Negative. No need to go the surgery route. Passengers will be handed a fleet enima before boarding.

  • ||

    Haven't clicked on the link, but did Carney say anything like "We are sure that Americans will understand the need for the temporary inconvenience"?

  • Paul||

    Sadly, I did click on it:

    But the specter of militants carrying bombs within them will prompt additional security measures at U.S. airports and overseas airports serving U.S. destinations, the Transportation Security Administration said in a written release.

    And then there's this:

    "What technology can we use? The simple answer is the human brain—that's the only way to address the threat," said Philip Baum, founder of Green Light Limited, an aviation-security consultancy in London.

    The TSA is totally unequipped for this.

  • Tim||

    It's going to be the whole Jaws "show us your scars" scene.

  • ||

    If I have to see Richard Dreyfuss half-naked one more time, I'm gonna lose it.

    And, yes I know, he wasn't half-naked in JAWS. But my personal business is my own, so don't ask.

  • ||

    I ran across a blog headline (didn't read the posting) that suggested that there is some concern--not making this up--about bombs being surgically implanted into the female bosom.

    Personally, I think TSA employees are the source of this rumor.

  • some guy||

    Full body X-ray. It's the only way to be safe.

    Each person will be limited to 10 flights per year and 100 flights per lifetime to reduce cancer risks. Politicians are exempt from these scans and travel limits.

    That is all.

  • marlok||

    Not sensitive enough, dude. Go full on CT scan. Get a second one right before boarding, just to be saf.

  • Paul||

    America Fast Forward utilizes a number of innovative financing tools

    Why is it when a government hack talks about "innovative financing tools", it conjures a picture of vast, systemic corruption in my mind.

  • ||

    Because your mind is able to accurately interpret the obfuscation?

  • ||

    Tim,

    I'm not going to subscribe to their site, so could you tell us why he also failed to use the "science is settled" defense of his plan as well? From what I've read, that's the only piece of the puzzle that keeps this from also being an argument on spending taxpayer money on windmills.

  • Platypus||

    Expanding the act would enable America Fast Forward to become a reality for more than a million Americans who are ready to get back to work, building a 21st century transportation infrastructure on a faster time line.

    Sounds like serfdom to me.

  • GILMORE||

    What bothers me about the piece is more the presumed level of attention/reading comprehension of the assumed readers of Michael Kelly's non-agument-argument.

    I mean, he doesn't make an argument because it seems he assumes he doesn't need to; people are too fucking dumb to go, "yeah, but... what you said there... uh.... doesn't actually mean anything"

    ""The America Fast Forward plan...is a legitimate solution...""

    How again? You didn't say.

    ""This is a plan that recognizes..."

    How again? You didn't say.

    ""innovative"...
    "empowering""
    "communities"
    "" leverage local funds with federal dollars to create jobs ""

    Oh, create *jobs*.

    Because that's what government does? I never noticed.

    But what do I know. Public transit "created a lot of jobs" in NYC...

    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/st.....id=6505244

    Gotta love all that job creation.
    ...

  • ||

    What would totally push this plan over the top is if they could tie it to the removal of all the desert rats, hermits, and other assorted denizens of the Antelope Valley and power those sleek ultra-modern trains with solar cells and windmills in the desert.

    Big picture out of the jack-in-the-box thinking FTW!

  • A Serious Man||

    America Fastforward. People for the American Way. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Why, exactly, do progressives insist on coming up with the most Orwellian names for their organizations and programs?

  • fish||

    Cuz they're dickheads.

    C'mon just admit it....you all wanted to say it!

  • Paul||

    They should cut to the chase and put them all under one umbrella organization called "America's Great Leap Forward"

  • sevo||

    I like the "Five Year Plan".

  • A Serious Man||

    You can't beat "Year Zero" though.

  • It's not a handout any more...||

    ...it is kinetic "strategically leverage[d] local funds with federal dollars..."

  • Paul||

    ...for winning the future...

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